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Is it essential for B2B companies to have a strong brand?
If you’re new to the business world, you may not see your brand as relevant because you run a B2B venture. You may think that a brand is important only in environments where services and products are purchased because of what they say about the buyer. Also, you may have the impression that brands are relevant when people make irrational purchase decisions. But B2B clients are rational creatures. They don’t pay attention to brands, you reason, and therefore B2B purchases are more about establishing a relationship with the clients.
Well, you may have these prejudices because you don’t fully understand what a brand is. You associate it with a logo, name, color scheme, and slogan. But the brand is the company’s public perception, and this is as true for B2B companies as it is for B2C companies.
But let’s get into it: Why does your B2B company needs a strong brand?
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A Strong Brand Benefits Your B2B Venture
Below are some of the key benefits your B2B company will enjoy with a strong brand presence.
- Employee retention and recruitment. You may think your brand matters only with your clients, but in fact, it also helps with recruitment and retention. A LinkedIn study revealed that 90% of talent leaders consider the brand an essential factor in attracting talent.
- Defense against negative exposure. Consumers find it easier to forgive strong brands with occasional slip-ups. Consistently positive associations and word-of-mouth help can guard a business when it faces negative reviews.
- A price premium. A strong brand provides a competitive edge on the market, and B2B as well as B2C buyers are willing to pay more for a product because it has the company’s logo.
What Features Does a Strong Brand Have?
Now that you understand why you need to build a reliable brand, you may wonder what features define it. Let’s have a look.
- Your brand inspires affinity; it’s prominent and understood. Your company is widely recognized in your industry and creates a dominant picture in your public’s consciousness when they think about the products you sell.
- It’s based on a clear idea. Strategic understanding is the hallmark of a successful company. You don’t want the public just to know your brand, but to know it for positive reasons. Therefore, you find a space in the market that appeals to your clients and anchor yourself there with your ideas. You are consistent in the messages you send to your public and create an overall brand identity.
- It’s perceived as having the best solution to a problem the public experiences.
- Your company appeals to emotional as well as rational clients. You can create an emotional association by letting the audience know who you are and understanding what makes them feel better. Your clients consider that your business has a series of human traits.
- Your brand has multi-dimensional appeal. You create a strong bond among employees and customers that causes them to stay loyal and advocate for your products’ benefits.
- Customers understand you’re true to your word. They know you as someone who recognizes that your journey never ends and your position isn’t guaranteed on the market, so you stay true to your word and deliver what you promise.
How Does Research Help You Build a Strong B2B Brand?
You can make your B2B brand durable. How? You study the market, understand how the target audiences perceive your company, and do your best to maintain a positive perception. The only way to build a strong brand is to determine what the market wants.
But first, you must understand three things:
- What are the desirable brand associations in your industry?
- How does the public perceive your brand? In other words, do they see it as credible?
- What perpetual space does your competition occupy?
With this information at hand, you can build a differentiated, credible, and compelling B2B brand. To gather this knowledge, follow these steps in the research process:
Look from the Inside Out
It would help build your brand on the dimensions that matter to your industry. In fact, this is the only way to create a successful business. But you should also ensure that the position you pick reflects your organization’s essence and is something your public buys. Research that starts with inside-out evaluation is perfect for B2B companies. This is because it leverages the company’s existing expertise and knowledge, makes key players feel part of essential actions, and uncovers the changes the company must adopt to acquire a better position in the market.
During this step, you must hold a series of workshops with management, your marketing team, business partners, and customer-facing teams. Use these get-togethers to explore what behaviors and attributes your brand displays in the market, what values your company stands for, and what you would like it to stand for. Then look to see how credible it is to aspire to the position you want to achieve.
This step also implies auditing your competitors by reviewing their marketing strategies and websites. Additionally, ask former employees for their honest opinions and feedback.
Look from the Outside In
You cannot build a strong brand solely on internal knowledge. Therefore, you should expand your research outside the company. This step is about external discovery that will allow you to gather insights from customers, prospective clients, and opinion formers. When you engage with them, explore subjects like the values, behaviors, and attributes they want your business to display. Also ask about what brands inside and outside the market they respect, how important the supplier choice is, and the emotional influencers that affect their decisions.
The data you gather in this step will help you position your brand in a place that resonates with the market’s needs.
By now, you have plenty of information about the steps you must take to build a strong B2B brand. It’s smart to use this information to establish your brand’s new position. The validating stage establishes where your journey is heading and gives you an accurate picture of your findings. Communicate your conclusions internally and ensure that every team member lives it. You should also share it externally and monitor its effects on the marketplace.
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Get the Help You Need to Make Your B2B Brand Strong
Everything is easier said than done, but you don’t have to research on your own. You can hire a company that specializes in B2B research. They will help you deal with the challenges of building a strong B2B brand.
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